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Tiger Hills

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,914 ratings  ·  279 reviews
As the first girl to be born into the Nachimanda family in over thirty-five years, the beautiful Devi is the object of adoration of her entire family. Spirited and strong-willed, she befriends the shy Devanna, a young boy whose mother has died in tragic circumstances. Together they grow up amidst the luscious jungles, rolling hills, and coffee plantations of Coorg in South ...more
Hardcover, 468 pages
Published March 9th 2011 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2010)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,914 ratings  ·  279 reviews

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2.5 stars rounded up
This is quite a hefty tome with a lot going on. Some of the publicity describes it as A Suitable Boy meets The Thorn Birds meets Gone with the Wind. It spans the years1878 to 1936. It is set in the south Indian province of Coorg, in the Sahaydri Mountains. The author comes from this area and it is easy to see that as the landscape is the strongest character in the book. It is also a love triangle (that usually makes me run several miles in the opposite direction, but this is
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I so wanted to like this. I loved the setting and plus, it's historical fiction so odds were in my favor, but it wasn't meant to be. This was so depressing and never mind that this was the longest tragedy parade I've ever listened to. It actually started out great, but then it got all tragic, then even more tragic and on and on. Tragedy, actually, is not a deal breaker for me. There was just so much and some of this didn't match up with what we were given to know about the characters. Some of th ...more
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
For her first novel, Mandanna's writing is absolutely outstanding. The book is actually 591 pages long, yet it felt like so much less.
This was such a beautiful story. I came to care about the two protagonists more than I thought I would. As I got to the last few pages I was devastated that I would have to say goodbye to them.
The story gave me a clearer understanding of the people who lived in India 100 years ago. They were extremely hard-working and hugely loving, and they had such a great sense
Tania Malik
Set in Coorg in Southern India at the turn of the nineteenth century this is a beautifully written and intricate multi-generational story full of rich cultural details, lush settings and a wide swath of characters. Reminded me of Cutting for Stone in its lyrical sense of place and character (which tended to be too much at times in this book), and of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind – the heroine is spoilt and strong willed, not necessarily likable, and she makes choices that affect and have ...more
Parthiban Sundaram
I read Sarita Mandanna's Tiger Hills sometime back. Had been wanting to write a review but could not. I have forgotten most of the details but based on the impressions the book left on me, here are a few notes:

The tiger hills novel tells a triangular love story set in the lushly wooded and beautiful Coorg Hills of the western ghats. The story starts in the late 19th century when the country was still under British rule and it progresses through the times of much turmoil as the World Wars and the
Renita D'Silva
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh I LOVED this book SO much. Poignant and heartbreaking. A skilfully written, layered and intricate story.
Pavan Dharanipragada
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Pavan by: Amith Reddy
Shelves: indian-fiction
Tiger Hills is a novel about Devi, Devanna, and Machaiah and their tragic lives. It is set in Coorg, spanning more than half a century during the turbulent period of late 19th and early 20th centuries. The novel is divided into three 'eras' of Devi's life, labelled Devanna, Machaiah, and Appu, ostensibly because of them being the focus of the narration, though this not strictly followed.

Essentially the crux of the plot is that Devi was in love with Machu, and Devanna, with Devi, and the cruel m
Diane S ☔
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 This is a sweeping epic style and generational novel, set in the district of Coorg, India at the turn of the twentieth century. The prose is vivid and lush as well as descriptive, all helping to immerse the reader into this culture and the story itself. It is a love story filled with loss, regret and memory. It follows the characters throughout both World Wars and the Indian independence. The coffee plantations, European settlers and old families and 6 decades of social change. The recurring ...more
Mar 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This historical novel is an Indian "Gone with the Wind." Set between 1878 and 1936, it is a multi-generational saga about a love triangle.

This love triangle, involving Devi, Devanna and Machu, serves as a catalyst for a long sequence of tragedies. Devi, the female lead who connects all the main characters, makes choices with far-reaching consequences for the men who love her. Devanna is her childhood sweetheart until Devi meets Machu, the tiger killer.

Devi, spoilt, self-centred and stubborn, i
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Been a long time since I read anything quite as well-crafted, as engaging, as heart-breaking. Recommended to anyone interested in Indian writing in English.
Stephen Clynes
May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is set in Coorg, Southern India and runs from 1878 to 1940. It is a cross generational love story told in the third person. It is not a slushy romance but a story that explores the gripping emotion of love. This is a book that men can enjoy because Sarita understands just how people form loving bonds. Through the story the foundation of love is explained with the characters as they grow wiser with age. There is no explicit sex in this novel but lots of emotional turmoil.

Sarita’s writi
Bhargavi Balachandran

I first fell in love with Mandana's writing after reading a bunch of short stories by her in an anthology published by Unisun Publishers sometime back. Among the stories in the book, Mandana's beautiful words and stories stood out.I promptly copied a few passages that I found riveting into my book I keep for chronicling memorable writing i come across. And then ...boom.. Tiger Hills happened and she got catapulted into literary stardom.I have been wanting to read this book ever since i attended
Connie Mayo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

At a little under 600 pages this is quite a big book. The story however is a huge, sweeping, page turner of a saga. Beginning in 1878 with the birth of Devi, the narrative follows the fortunes of her, and childhood playmate Devanna and their families through to the second world war. Charting how one tiny decision or act can change the direction of a life completely. Also how so often people's choices were (and maybe still are) limited due to family pride, tradition and social convention. I can't
Emma Abson
Wonderfully written but just so depressing to read. If you like a book where everything is awful, and there really isn't a happy ending, then get involved. The main character (Devi) is really not very likeable (why are strong women always written in such a way that they are immediately dislikable? We can be both strong and nice, I'm sure of it) and the themes of lost love and life changing consequences are, in my opinion over egged. It did, however, give an interesting look at colonialism and In ...more
Jun 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Beautifully written. Very engaging. And it was 4 stars...up until the end... the loose ends got wrapped up TOO neatly, TOO artificially. I'm talking about the last hospital scene...simply too fake and felt very contrived.

Two favorite quotes (among many):

"Love is breath, yes, but also what follows after, when all breath is done, when all the remains is silence. Love is water, yearning for the sea. It is the tree that must remain rooted while reaching for the sky. It is shadow, freighted with abse
Jun 24, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It started off really well and for a little while I thought I would end up at 4 starts, despite it being predictable and filled with clichés.
But then, about a quater way through it just went rapidly downhill. Characters that had been developed up till then were completely abandoned and the story became a farce, endless repetitions and a very inelegant and jumbled jumping back and forth between characters and timelines, as if the author constantly changed her mind about who she wanted the story
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diverse-reading
I just happened upon this book, having never heard of it before. Set in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in southwest India, it shows how individual, seemingly small decisions can have a great impact on the life of an individual and family. Some of the twists and terms of fate in this book are devastating, but I enjoyed the scope of this book and the fact that over a span of time, you can see how people bring joy and pain to each other. This book was a very pleasant surprise.
Jyoti Babel
Sunday, February 20, 2011Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna
Tiger Hills, the debut novel by Sarita Mandanna is an epic tragic love story that runs through generations. The story is set in Coorg in Southern India, beginning in the late 1800s through the war time years of the 20th century. Mandanna has given such vivid description of Coorg's luscious landscape, green jungles, rich cultural tradition and food that one can immediately be involved and submerged in the story and be completely entranced by
Nov 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: india, indian-author
I picked up this book for a lark(like I pick up most books these days). Some of the books I pick up like this end up very disappointing. This one on the other hand, was anything but disappointing.

It was riveting. The story of Devi, a girl born in Coorg in late 1800s. Devi is a wilful child with her mind of her own, unlike other girls at that time. She decides at the age of 10 that she would marry the Tiger Killer, Machu, her best friend Devanna’s cousin. Devanna, on the other hand grows up, desp
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This historical fiction of the people and places near Coorg, India covers the years from 1878 through 1936, chronicling the lives of Devanna of the Pallada family, and Devi of the Nachimandas. These childhood friends grow up and marry. That is the most I can say without spoiling this epic narrative of tribal life during British colonization.

Lush descriptions of the landscape and flora of the area abound and I can see the rich overgrowth of the jungles, smell the vibrant flowers and the sea. It
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, fiction, india
Tiger Hills is an epic novel that spans most of Devi's lifetime. Devi, Devanna, and Machu are all layered, multi-dimensional characters. They are flawed but heartbreakingly sympathetic, each in their own way. Ms. Mandanna even spends quite a bit of time building out the secondary characters like Nanju and Appu as well. Even if I didn't agree with an action one of the characters took, I knew exactly why they would do such a thing because the author paid so much attention to each character's devel ...more
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoy historical, family sagas, then this book needs to be on your TBR list. It is a sweeping tale of love, hate, redemption and most importantly, forgiveness.
There is such beauty to this book. From the opening, with its lush descriptions of herons, to the very last page, it envelops you in an exotic landscape full of wonder. And that’s without even including the characters. But with this book, the land itself is another character, and a protagonist at that.
Devi, Devanna and Machu, the th
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shilpi Jain
Patience- that's what Devi, the central character of the book learns the hard way in this book and that's exactly what Sarita Mandanna, the author teaches the readers and in exactly the similar fashion. Set in the early 1900's in the picturesque Coorg in the backdrop of the World Wars with socio-political elements of the early twentieth-century India- you'd almost think the book has all the elements of a compelling read but alas! The pace nearly kills you for the first 100 or so pages but gets b ...more
Aug 09, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up for lack of anything else that caught my interest in the library. And I was disappointed. The story was slow, and painful. The author is the type to use big words without really needing to. The enhanced vocabulary did nothing for the story, in fact, I found it hard to believe at times, particularly when referring to characters who were not highly educated. This story centered around doomed love, and how wallowing in it can ruin ones life. And it was boring. I finished the b ...more
Sep 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Tiger Hills is in Coorg India, a place that becomes almost real as one rushes through the 464 story pages of the book. It details the story of an all consuming protagonist(Devi) who loves an older man (Manchu) and the complications this gives to her life and the life of those in her family and around her. It shows how unfair a person can be to those who love one most and how a consuming love may not bring rewards.

I liked the book for the description of the mores of natives and British, celebrati
Aug 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the title of the book and that made me curious to read what 'Tiger Hills' is about..This is Sarita's first book and I must say her writing style is really nice..description of coorg,the coffee plantations etc is amazing..However I thought the plot of the story and the characters could have been much more defined.Devi,the main character-I didnt like many of her traits..and that put me off,there were many instances where I felt like shaking her up and telling her to get over Machu..However ...more
May 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing. I literally could not put it down once I started. It spans the entire life of 2 children and goes through their journey together...notwithstanding so many trials and events. It was heartbreaking at points and I found myself crying because I could feel the pain of the characters and what they were going through. The author's descriptions are absolutely points I felt I was seeing and smelling the fields and hills of India she wrote about, and others I was smel ...more
Scooter Athans
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard the author, Sarita Mandanna, speak at a business conference and received her book as a give-away. She was an investment banker at the time and I did not expect her first novel to be very good. I was pleasantly surprised that I really liked it. It’s a story that follows a woman from Coorg, India and her family from her birth through around age 70. While I was frustrated at times by her portrayal of some female characters I found the book well written and the history of the times very inte ...more
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UK Amazon Kindle ...: Tiger Hills 3 23 Apr 27, 2012 08:02AM  
Goodreads Librari...: 9780753827796 2 27 Feb 27, 2012 09:47AM  

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Sarita Mandanna belongs to the stunning landscapes of Coorg. Her family history extends for centuries through these hills, famous for their coffee plantations and often described as the 'Scotland of India'. Tiger Hills is her first novel. ...more

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